A Tennessee unpaid overtime lawsuit may be an option for hourly and salaried employees, as well as some contractors, who work beyond the standard 40-hour workweek. If an employee feels that they are not receiving the overtime pay they are due, a Tennessee unpaid wages attorney may be able to help them recover the compensation he or she deserves.
EyeOfPaul-istock-ThinkstockFor more information, contact the Attorney Group for Tennessee today. Our consultations are free, confidential and without any obligation on your part. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated Tennessee unpaid overtime lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What is Overtime?
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), overtime is defined as “time actually worked beyond a prescribed threshold.” In other words, if an eligible employee works beyond the standard workweek of 40 hours, he or she is entitled to one and one-half their regular rate of pay. Some states may have their own labor laws concerning overtime that may extend beyond the federal rules.
Who is Eligible for Overtime Pay?
Hourly and salaried employees who earn less than $455 per week ($23,600 per year) are considered “nonexempt” and are eligible for overtime pay under the FLSA. Employees who are considered “exempt” typically include executive, administrative, or other professional occupations as well as computer professionals, outside sales employees, and highly compensated employees who make more than $100,000 per year.
Under new federal guidelines, employees who make less than $913 per week ($47,476 per year) were scheduled to receive overtime benefits starting on December 1, 2016. According to the DOL, a U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Texas granted an Emergency Motion for Preliminary Injunction of the overtime rule on November 22, 2016. The injunction blocked the final rule from taking effect at the scheduled date, however, the Department of Justice filed a notice to appeal the injunction on December 1, 2016.
Do I Get Overtime If My Employer Calls Me an Independent Contractor?
Sometimes, employers may improperly label their employees as independent contractors. Independent contractors are people or entities who are self-employed and are not considered employees. Employees who are mislabeled as independent contractors are often denied the benefits and protections that they are entitled. Under the FLSA, independent contractors are not entitled to overtime pay, however, if a court determines that a mislabeled independent contractor is actually an employee, the employee may be eligible for overtime pay.
Jobs commonly mislabeled as independent contractors include:
- Truck drivers
- Tow truck drivers
- Port workers
- Package delivery workers and couriers
- Construction workers
- Call center workers
- Exotic dancers
Unpaid Overtime Lawsuits
According to a DOL news release published in April 2016, investigators from the DOL Wage and Hour Division found that a Nashville restaurant violated overtime provisions of the FLSA. As a result of the investigation, the restaurant and its owners were ordered to pay 44 employees a total of $175,000 in back wages and liquidated damages.
Unpaid overtime lawsuits have also been initiated against the ride-share company Uber. According to a motion filed with the Judicial Panel of Multidistrict Litigation in December 2015, at least five related actions have been filed in five federal district courts against the company. According to the motion, determinations in California and Oregon concluded that Uber drivers were employees, therefore entitled unpaid overtime wages and reimbursement of expenses based on the relationship between the company and its drivers.
Can My Employer Fire Me for Filing an Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit?
Legally, an employer cannot retaliate against an employee for seeking unpaid overtime. If an employee is terminated or an employer retaliates against an employee for seeking unpaid wages, the employee may be eligible to sue for reinstatement as well as unpaid overtime pay and back wages.
Retaliation is not limited to termination of employment. Retaliation of any kind is prohibited, including:
- Reduction of job hours or duties
- Submission of poor performance review that is unwarranted
- Termination of an employee’s relative
- Other types of objectively punitive behavior motivated by the unpaid overtime claim
How a Tennessee Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit Can Help
Federal law, and many state laws, require employers to pay employees for overtime at a rate of not less than 1.5 times their regular rate of pay. These same laws protect underpaid workers from retaliation if they pursue a claim, and an unpaid wages lawyer can help an employee recover the compensation he or she deserves.
The Time You Have to Pursue a Claim is Limited. Contact Us Today.
For more information, contact the Attorney Group for Tennessee. You can fill out the form on this page or contact us by phone or email.
After you contact us, an attorney will follow up to answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.